Tuesday's work session on the proposed Crossville shooting sports park gave many the opportunity to speak on the matter including those with the state funding agency Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and those who both support and oppose the proposed location of the park.
Kenneth Carey addresses his participation in the project
Even those who are opposed to the Albert Frye location say they want to see the park located in Cumberland County, just not be located anywhere near their homes or property.
Members of the audience including supporters and those opposed
to the shooting sports park listen to
TWRA commission member Jim Bledsoe
Crossville Mayor James Mayberry called the work session to give more of the public a chance to speak on the matter as public comments were not allowed at the special called meeting that may have killed the project, at least on the city's Albert Frye Road property. The first speaker was Jim Bledsoe, an outgoing member of the TWRA board of commissioners who has sought the project during the last 2 years of his term.
Meeting opened by Mayor Mayberry and comments by Jim Bledsoe
Bledsoe said that the proposed property was strategically picked because of its accessibility and proximity to I-40. "We have several shooting facilities across the state,” said Bledsoe, “This was going to be our middle Tennessee focus area.” Bledsoe explained that the property has been tied to the project since the beginning and is used as match for the grant. A local match of 25 percent is required for the federal grant. “This piece of property is essential for the project,” added Bledsoe, “Without it you'll have to start all over again. You'll have to go through a whole new grant writing process, back to ground zero.” Additionally, if the project isn't started by June 30, the funds will have to re-budgeted into TWRA's next budget and that is not guaranteed.
Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey told Jim Young Reporter he has been promoting the project, as a private individual not promoting it in his capacity as mayor. Carey made those comments in a meeting earlier Tuesday in his office. That differentiation has not always been clear.
At the council meeting Carey said that as a board member he will not receive any pay for his work on the project and he categorically denied there was any job he would take with the operation in the future.
Kenneth Carey remarks and other speakers including Roy South
Local resident Roy South spoke saying that he had operated a shooting club for about 10 years in Putnam Co. and it was a popular attraction that even brought in visitors from 8 other countries during its operation.
Another local resident, Randall Kidwell spoke about the lack of zoning and that he lived very near the Crossville Raceway but he would rather keep the ability to do what he wanted with his property rather then have others tell him. Kidwell said that he was concerned that the small group of people fighting the project were able to shut it down adding that even if someone wanted to put in a daisy farm someone would object to it.
Comments by Randall Kidwell
Additional speakers at the council work session included Wade Davenport, Tom Pelfry and Harold Stryker.